SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Al Riley, D-Olympia Fields, is pushing a measure that would add the city of Kankakee to the list of communities eligible for benefits under the River Edge Redevelopment Zone Program; an initiative which helps to “revive and redevelop environmentally challenged properties adjacent to rivers in Illinois”.
“The River Edge Program was established to ensure that communities close to our state’s waterways can have tools to develop adjacent properties in an environmentally conscious but cost effective manner”, said Riley; himself a certified urban planner. “It’s no secret that improvements to Kankakee’s waterfront could spur the creation of an economic engine putting dollars back into the city’s economy and encouraging additional development.”
Last week, Riley filed House Bill 335, which would make the City of Kankakee the sixth certified River Edge Redevelopment Zone. Current zones include Rockford, Peoria, Aurora, Elgin and East St. Louis. Being a certified River Edge Redevelopment Zone provides a variety of incentives and tax credits to businesses to revitalize distressed communities adjacent to Illinois Rivers. Redevelopment Zone communities may be eligible for incentives that include Environmental Remediation Tax Credits, Dividend Income Deductions, Interest Income Deductions, Building Materials Sales Tax Exemptions, and Property Tax Abatement.
“Last term, state Sen. Toi Hutchinson, former state Rep. Kate Cloonen and myself had discussions about existing means to foster development in downtown Kankakee and surrounding areas”. It is one thing to say that a community needs help to build their economy and, thus, their social capital, but this bill will hopefully allow us to actually do it with time tested and measurable assistance,” said Riley.
Riley represents the 38th District, which includes Tinley Park, Hazel Crest, and other neighboring communities. For more information, please contact Riley’s district office at 708-799-4364.